The upright should not need any more incentive
We can personally (and internally) determine the level of our humility and authenticity if we do not get envious of rewards and incentives given to the previously lost who have found their way.
An initial (yet reasonable) reaction for the upright would be: why would the “sinful” who repent receive greater blessings than those who were upright for far longer?
Maybe because the cost of converting another is far higher than retaining the virtuous. And the truly virtuous would seek good not for incentives; they pursue good for its own sake. It is the reward in itself.
Maybe the reward of the virtuous is that they have been on that path for far longer; they have had more opportunities to be good and to flourish than the lost who needs some headstart to recover from the darkness.
The upright should not need any more incentive nor validation. But it sure warms the heart when the upright receives unsolicited affirmation. This is where faith matters more – that when the upright feels unrecognized, there is a caring Spirit that could manifest itself in the miracles of relationships we have in our communities. And this community can give us the lift that we need without succumbing to the trap of pride or envy.
Luke 15:1-32. The same way, I tell you, there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner repenting than over ninety-nine upright people who have no need of repentance.
[DAILY GOSPEL INSIGHTS AND REFLECTION FOR MANAGEMENT AND ORGANIZATION 254: SEPTEMBER 11, 2022]